Negotiation Skills - Heads I win, Tails you Lose
'Heads I win, tails you lose.'
That's the way to handle negotiating, isn't it?
Well, no. Good negotiating isn't about winning and it isn't about someone else losing. Good negotiating is about both sides leaving feeling they got what they wanted, or at least better off than when they went in. Unsuccessful negotiation is when either side feels they've compromised too much, given way when they didn't want to, felt undue pressure; felt threatened; made sacrifices they didn't want to. In those situations, the other party might believe they've won and go away feeling good about themselves, but that's not really a successful negotiation. They may have won, but the other party will never trust them again and may not want to repeat the experience. As the cliché says, they may have won the battle, but they won't have won the war. What if negotiating were about giving away as much as you possibly could, without feeling unhappy about it? What do you have, that you're willing to give away, that the other side wants? What negotiation pressures can you bring to bear that won't feel like pressure, but rather will feel more like good hard bargaining? Really good negotiators are able to read the other person/people. They can take the role of an Objective Observer, retaining a calm, inner state of mind. They are able to let go of their positions, giving up one want and choosing another.
Negotiation as a Fight:
Negotiation can sometimes both look like and feel like a fight. It is two-way and indeed there may be more coming at you than you are offering the other way. You need to define a personal context for fighting. Seeing: The best skill you can have is one of seeing. How well you see other people; how well you can see what's going on for them and for yourself. This is all about reading people, picking up their signals.
Negotiation is a game:
Treat negotiating as a game. One to play and play hard. Sometimes you will win, sometimes you will lose. The more you are able to work with negotiation skills as a game the more in charge of your negotiation you can be.
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